Windows 10

A regular (little) PC with Windows 7 on it, is in general a very solid digital signage setup. In this section we'll show you how to install and configure Google Chrome as the browser that is used for channel playback. We also describe what you should do to have the PC shut down automatically and startup everything automatically when you switch it on again.

Latest Video Drivers

For optimal graphics performance, make sure you are running the latest video drivers on your computer.

  1. On the bottom left, click the Windows icon and then the gear icon.
  2. Type Display in the search field at the top of the window.
  3. Click Display settings.
  4. Click Advanced display settings.
  5. Click Display adapter properties.
  6. On the Adapter tab click the Properties button.
  7. On the Driver tab click Update driver.
  8. Click Search automatically for updated driver software.
  9. A message will appear to tell you the driver is up to date or instructions on how to update your driver.

Google Chrome Installation

  1. If Google Chrome is not yet installed, open your current web browser and go to http://google.com/chrome and then download and install the latest version of Google Chrome as instructed.
  2. When asked, set Chrome to be your default browser.
  3. If Chrome is already installed you can set it as the default browser:
    1. in Chrome, click the button on the top right with the three horizontal lines (or dots depending on the version of Chrome)
    2. click Settings
    3. select Make Google Chrome my default browser

"Never change a winning team" is a slogan that holds very true for a stable signage setup. If it works well and it runs stable, don't just change anything. So it is advisable to disable automatic updates of the browser. Here's an easy way to do this:

  1. Download this zip file.
  2. Go to the folder where the file was downloaded and double click it to unzip.
  3. Double click the Enable Chrome Updates.reg file to disable Chrome updates in your Windows Registry.
  4. If asked for permission to change the registry, accept.

Disable Windows Auto-Updates

Just like you don't want Chrome to automatically update, you also want the same for Windows. On a regular computer that you use yourself every day this is bad advice, especially since you need to be protected against the latest threats when pulling in e-mail, downloading unknown programs and visiting all kinds of new websites. However, on a computer that only visits the same well-known website over and over again, this is less of an issue. Instead you want to make sure that the channel playback does not get interrupted by any update procedure.

In Windows 10, they made it difficult to disable auto-updates. The way to do it is to tell Windows that your network connection is a "metered connection". By default you cannot configure a wired connection as "metered connection". Here are the steps to do configure both your WiFi and wired network as "metered connections":

  1. First we need to get permissions to reconfigure the networks connections:
    1. On the bottom left, click the Windows icon and then type regedit.
    2. Click the regedit command that pops up and confirm that you like to open it.
    3. On the left hand side, navigate to the folder HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\NetworkList\DefaultMediaCost
    4. Right click on the DefaultMediaCost folder and select Permisssions...
    5. Click on the Advanced button.
    6. On the top of the next window, you'll see an Owner: listed (usually this is TrustedInstaller). Click Change.
    7. In the Enter the object name to select box, type the name of your Windows user account.
    8. Click the Check Names button to validate the account name.
    9. Click Ok.
    10. In the Permission entries list, also find the name of your Windows user account and double click on it. Then enable Full Control under Basic permissions.
    11. Click Ok in this and all former windows to finalize this process.
  2. Now we can make the WiFi and wired network setting configurable as a "metered connection":
    1. Download this zip file.
    2. Go to the folder where the file was downloaded and double click it to unzip.
    3. Double click the Enable Metered Ethernet Connection.reg file to configure the network connections as "metered connections".
    4. If asked for permission to change the registry, accept.

This should basically take care of auto-updates. There are a few more things that you can change, but they shouldn't be strictly necessary. Please refer to this How-To Geek article for more details.

Disable Energy Saving Mode

To make sure that the screen does not turn black after a few minutes, do the following:

  1. On the bottom left, click the Windows icon and then the gear icon.
  2. Type Power in the search field at the top of the window.
  3. Click Power Options.
  4. Select the High performance plan (possibly hidden under Show additional plans).
  5. Click to the right of this plan Change plan settings.
  6. Select Never for all options.
  7. If available, set both Brightness sliders to the right most position.

Automatically Start Chrome On Startup

To make Google Chrome start automatically when Windows starts, do the following:

  1. Download this zip file and unpack it to the Desktop of your computer. Place the files StartChromeForPlayr.cmd and playr_loader.html on your Desktop.
  2. Check if Chrome starts up by double clicking the StartChromeForPlayr.cmd file. If Chrome starts full screen and shows a Bizplay (player registration) page, then this works correctly.
  3. On the bottom left, click the Windows icon and then the gear icon.
  4. Type Schedule in the search field at the top of the window.
  5. Click Schedule tasks.
  6. Choose Create basic task and name it Start Chrome for Bizplay, click Next.
  7. Set that this task has to be executed When I log in, click Next.
  8. Choose the action Start a program, click Next.
  9. Click the Browse button and select the StartChromeForBizplay.cmd file on the Desktop.
  10. To make startup more smooth: check “Open the Properties dialog for this task when I click Finish” before you click Finish.
  11. Go to the Triggers tab, click At log on trigger and choose Edit...
  12. Under Advanced settings, check Delay task for and choose 30 Seconds. This way Chrome will start up 30 seconds after Windows has started. This will allow for network and internet connections to have been established.

Automatic Player Shutdown (Sleep Mode)

If you like to save some energy, you can set the computer to go into sleep mode when you like your channel to stop playing.

  1. On the bottom left, click the Windows icon and then the gear icon.
  2. Type Schedule in the search field at the top of the window.
  3. Click Schedule tasks.
  4. Choose Create basic task and name it Shut down, click Next.
  5. Click Create basic task enter a name like Shut down and click Next.
  6. Set the trigger to Daily and click Next.
  7. Set the Action to Start a Program and click Next.
  8. Set the Program to C:\Windows\System32\rundll32.exe and set the Argument to powrprof.dll,SetSuspendState 0,1,0 and click Next.
  9. On the last page check “Open the Properties dialog for this task when I click Finish” and click Finish.
  10. On the General tab under Security options check Run whether user is logged on or not and check Run with the highest privileges.

Automatic Player Startup

Create a task to automatically wake your computer out of sleep mode.

  1. On the bottom left, click the Windows icon and then the gear icon.
  2. Type Schedule in the search field at the top of the window.
  3. Click Schedule tasks.
  4. Choose Create basic task and name it Start up, click Next.
  5. Set the trigger to Daily and click Next.
  6. Set the time the computer has to shut down, set Recur every to 1 day and click Next.
  7. Set the Action to Start a Program and click Next.
  8. Set the Program to ipconfig.exe and set the Argument to /renew and click Next
  9. On the last page check Open the Properties dialog for this task when I click Finish and click Finish.
  10. On the General tab under Security options check Run whether user is logged on or not and check Run with the highest privileges.
  11. On the Conditions tab under Power check Wake up computer to run this task.

It depends on the computer you are using if this automatic startup is going to work. So be sure to test it. The alternative is to set auto-startup in the computer's BIOS. You will have to read the BIOS user manual to find out if and how that works on that specific computer. For more details on this, also check the Linux section.

If a password has been set for the user account with which you log on to this computer, then this password should be removed/disabled to prevent a login screen when the computer starts.

  1. On the bottom left, click the Windows icon and then the gear icon.
  2. Type Change the sign in the search field at the top of the window.
  3. Click Change the sign-in requirements.
  4. Under Require sign-in select Never.